MAN'S IDEAS OF GOD ARE necessarily ANTHROPOMORPHIC
Eliminating for the moment from the discussion the fact of the fall, it still remains true that man's comprehension of the Eternal God must necessarily be based upon the facts of his own personality. When man stood erect in full possession of the facts of his own being, he was in very deed in the shadow and image of God. Essentially a spirit, possessed of an intellectual, an affectional, and a volitional nature, he was a medium through which these essential facts should be expressed along the line of force or power. The body of man was the medium of the spirit's expression. Such was the Divine ideal of humanity, spirit and body; the spirit crowned the body subservient; the spiritual nature dominant, the physical submissive thereto. Therein lay a suggestion, and indeed a revelation concerning the essential facts of Deity. God is a Spirit, intelligent, emotional, and volitional. These essential facts of His being govern all the forces of His nature, and so find expression in a thousand different ways, through created things. What man's body is to his spirit, all the created universe is to God. The Old Testament literature is full of this thought, and so God is described as clothing Himself with light, as riding upon the wings of the wind, as making the clouds His chariot. Thus unfallen man, reverently projecting the facts of his own being into immensity, would have a true conception of God. It follows by a sequence from which there can be no escape, that when man has fallen, if he still continue the same process he will create a deity, but it must be false, a contradiction of the truth, because man himself is a failure, and a contravention of the Divine purpose. In man, out of harmony with God, the spiritual fact has been neglected, with the result that the intelligence operates wholly within the realm of the material, the affection is warped, and prostituted; the will has lost its true principle of action. Project these things into immensity, and there will result gods, or a god, sensuous, cruel, tyrannical. It is the story of the religions of the human race.
This has also been dealt with in a previous article as revealed in Baal, in Moloch, in Mammon. New emphasis is added to the fact by a consideration of the gods of Rome and of Greece. In each case the deities worshipped were so many, that no man pretended to know their number, and the character of them may be described in very few words, vindictive, lazy, trivial, always seeking their own, treating men in such way that the only reason why men still feared or served them was that they would buy off from vengeance, and prevent their cruelty. In the presence of this universal incapacity to discover God, what can be done? The answer did not come, as it could not come, from man. It came from God.